Scotland’s last wildnerness

Off-grid energy company Knoydart Renewables in Scotland is one of several projects to benefit from a new GBP1m Highland Sustainable Fund.

It will receive GBP75,000 (100% match funding) to refurbish and increase the capacity of an essential hydro electric scheme which is the only energy supply to the off-grid community of Knoydart.

The community of Knoydart is often referred to as ‘Scotland’s last wilderness’. Only accessible by boat, or by a 16-mile hike, it is not connected to the UK road system or the national power grid network.

The community hydro-electric system, operated by Knoydart Renewables and fed by Loch Bhraomisaig on the slopes of Beinn Buidhe delivers electricity to the peninsula’s only village, Inverie, which comprises 40 householders, 18 businesses and nine community facilities.

Previous attempts have been made to refurbish the scheme, which was in a poor state when the community took ownership in 1999; however complications left parts of the system unfinished and still requiring upgrade.

The sustainability of the scheme is vital to ensuring the continued growth of the community by attracting new residents and businesses to the area.

The grant from the SSE Sustainable Development Fund will contribute to vital upgrade works to increase the capacity and improve the durability of the hydro scheme.

Angela Williams, Development Manager at Knoydart Renewables, said: ‘Knoydart Renewables is really pleased to receive this grant. It will allow us to create a more robust system and help us move towards the 280kw of power the turbine is capable of.

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